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REDD in the news: 22-28 February 2010

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A round up of the last seven days’ news on REDD, in chronological order with short extracts (click on the title for the full article). For those who can’t wait until Monday for their REDD news, REDD-Monitor’s news page is updated daily: “REDD in the news“.

Livelihoods and Forestry Programme

DFID and the Government of Nepal, February 2010 | LFP supports community groups to manage over 396,000 hectares of forest, resulting in improved forest condition, biodiversity and ability to capture and store carbon. The community forests also help local users to increase their ability to prepare for and adapt to effects of climate change. Although not originally designed with climate change in mind the programme has responded and a range of activities are taking place based on the LFP climate change strategy. Technical and financial support is provided to different national processes such as forest carbon financing through the mechanism of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) and the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA).

Enhancing Institutional Capacities on REDD Issues for Sustainable Forest Management in the Congo Basin (COMIFAC) in Africa: General Procurement Notice

devex.com, February 2010 | The Executive Secretariat of the COMIFAC (Central African Forest Commission) has received financing in the amount of US$399,000 equivalent from the World Bank toward the cost of the Preparation of a Project for Enhancing Institutional Capacities on REDD issues for Sustainable Forest Management in the Congo Basin, and it intends to apply part of the proceeds to payments for goods, related services and consulting services to be procured under this project.

22 February 2010

Illegal loggers target community forests

Jakarta Post, 22 February 2010 | Illegal loggers in Lampung have extended their grab beyond the Bukit Barisan Selatan and Way Kambas national parks and are now pilfering from reforestation areas managed under community forest programs, say officials. West Lampung Forestry Office head Fauzi said huge volumes of illegally logged timber had recently been found originating from forested areas run by local communities. “This finding means the logging has also taken place in community forests where local people put in a lot of hard work,” he said.

REDD challenges show up in Sumatra

carbonpositive.net, 22 February 2010 | The practical challenges of successfully tackling deforestation and restoring forests in developing countries have been highlighted by problems facing an otherwise successful forestry programme in Indonesia. One of the country’s model community forestry projects is now being compromised by illegal logging with action so far taken by authorities not enough to halt it even though laws exist to do so, the Jakarta Post reports. The community forest programme in areas of Lampung, on the south east tip of Sumatra, sees 12,000 hectares of land being managed by 6500 local families who preserve and restore standing forest, reforest cleared areas and farm selectively in and around the forest.

Illegal loggers hit community reforestation project in Indonesia, spurring questions about REDD

mongabay.com, 22 February 2010 | Illegal loggers are targeting community-managed forests in South Sumatra, renewing questions over forestry governance and law enforcement as the Indonesia prepares to capitalize on payments for conservation and reforestation under a proposed climate change mitigation mechanism known as REDD, reports the Jakarta Press.

REDD may not provide sufficient incentive to developers over palm oil

By Lian Pin Koh and Rhett Butler, mongabay.com, 22 February 2010 | Note from Rhett Butler:… Despite the passage of a year, the outlook for REDD is not much clearer. REDD was one of the areas of progress during talks in Copenhagen last December and six wealthy countries agreed to provide $3.5 billion for REDD readiness activities between 2010 and 2012, but the talks produced no definitive language on the matter. Observers are now focused on the upcoming Governor’s Climate and Forests Task Force conference in Sumatra for insight on how REDD may proceed down a bi-lateral path. Beyond the economic issues mentioned in this article, the challenges for REDD remain daunting. Concerns over implementation, governance, forestry definitions, finance, project scale and design, and land rights and equity, among others, are unsettled at present.

Carbon markets deflating in the wake of Copenhagen

By Brady Yauch, Probe International, 22 February 2010 | After political leaders failed at December’s climate summit in Copenhagen to agree to a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the price of carbon has been slowly deflating. Many investors are now wary of pouring more money into a scheme that depends on political will, rather than economic fundamentals. According to The Economist, prices in the largest market for carbon-dioxide emissions, the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), have fallen from 14.70 Euros at the start of the Copenhagen conference to a low of 12.40 Euros in the two months following the gathering. Yet, this decline over the past two months is part of a much larger trend, with price of carbon emissions falling more than 50 percent from their peak price of 30 Euros in 2008. The cause? Real market forces are making the “political” carbon market redundant.

23 February 2010

Joint Press Statement of F-11 Ministerial Meeting in Bali

Government of Indonesia, press release, 23 February 2010 | Ministers and head of delegations from the F-11 countries met on the eve of the Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Environmental Ministers Forum on the 23rd of February 2010, in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. The member countries of F-11 are Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Peru. The Ministerial meeting was marked by the inauguration of the F-11 website, www.forest-eleven.or.id. The website aims to enable all stakeholders to interact and better understand the work being undertaken by F-11 countries on forest related issues and forest management, including on protection, restoration, afforestation and reforestation, and increase efforts to prevent forest degradation and to reverse the loss of forest cover. Ministers encouraged all stakeholders and interested parties to visit the website.

Oil palm plantation not in forest sector: Govt

By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 23 February 2010 | Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said he had no plan to draft a decree aimed at including oil palm plantations in the forestry sector. “I don’t know about it. There won’t be any forest conversion into oil palm plantations,” he said Monday on the side of a hearing with the House of Representatives’ Commission IV on forestry and agriculture. Zulkifli said the expansion of oil palm plantations would only be allowed on idle lands. “If you ask me about forest conversion into oil palm estates, it is not now. We are still focusing to [examine land] on reaching self-sufficiency on sugar cane,” he said. A source at the ministry said the draft of the decree on the palm oil issue had been finished and was likely to be discussed this month before being approved by the minister.

Conflicting signals out of Indonesia on whether palm oil plantations will be classified as forests

mongabay.com, 23 February 2010 | Indonesia will not allow the conversion of natural forest for oil palm plantations, claimed the country’s Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan in comments reported by the Jakarta Post. Speaking at a hearing on forestry and agriculture, Hasan said he has no plan to draft a decree to incorporate plantations in the forestry sector. “There won’t be any forest conversion into oil palm plantations,” he was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post. “If you ask me about forest conversion into oil palm estates, it is not now.” Hasan’s comment contradicts a statement by Tachrir Fathoni, the ministry’s head of research and development. Fathoni said a recently completed draft of the decree would include oil palm plantations in the forestry code.

More Ambition Needed if Greenhouse Gases are to Peak in Time, Says New UNEP Report

Media-Newswire.com, 23 February 2010 | These include Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation ( REDD ) which gained political support at the Copenhagen climate change meeting. REDD, which involves supporting developing countries to conserve rather than clear tropical forests, could make an important contribution not only to combating climate change but also to overcoming poverty and to a successful UN International Year of Biodiversity. The Year Book estimates that investing $22 billion to $29 billion in REDD could cut global deforestation by 25 per cent by 2015. It also highlights a new and promising REDD project in Brazil, at the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in Amazonas. Here each family receives US$28 a month if the forest remains uncut, one potential way of tipping the economic balance in favour of conservation versus continued deforestation.

Optimism on Forestry Demand Sparks German Stake in Canadian Developer

By Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace, 23 February 2010 | German carbon consultancy Forest Carbon Group AG last week took a 30% stake in Canadian project developer ERA Carbon Offsets, and for reasons many will find surprising. Number one on the list: anticipation of growing demand for forestry offsets among German voluntary buyers, who have traditionally been leery of non-industrial offsets. Germany has long been one of the greenest of industrialized nations, but it’s also been home to some of the stiffest opposition to schemes that hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by planting or saving trees and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Holger Mayer, however, believes that German opposition to forestry offsets – if not to REDD in particular – is waning. As of last week, he’s even banking on it – with a CAD$5.5 million (US$3.9) investment in ERA Carbon Offsets (ERA).

24 February 2010

F-11 countries call for mobilzation of financial resources

mcot.net, 24 February 2010 | F-11 countries have called for mobilization of the financial resources of developed countries through the establishment of mechanisms such as REDD-plus. The agreement to provide incentives to Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) action through the immediate establishment of a mechanism including REDD-plus, to enable the mobilization of financial resources from developed countries, must be urgently realized, according to a press statement issued by ministers attending the F-11 countries meeting here on Tuesday… The F-11 ministerial meeting was marked by the inauguration of the F-11 website (www.forest-eleven.or.id).

Cool Green Budget: What’s Good for Nature in FY2011

GreenDump blog, 24 February 2010 | More than $100 million to avoid the disastrous loss of tropical forests: The continuing degradation and destruction of tropical forests contributes 15-20 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global climate change. This loss also destroys critical habitat in Earth’s most biologically diverse ecosystems and harms local people dependent upon tropical forests for their livelihoods. An approach called REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is being pioneered by the Conservancy and other organizations to work with governments in countries like Brazil and Indonesia and with people on the forest frontier to retain tropical forests for their many benefits… U.S. government funds are provided in the president’s 2011 budget to help developing countries get REDD projects up and running.

25 February 2010

Reducing Forest Emissions

Voice of America, 25 February 2010 | The U.S. contribution to this effort will be one billion dollars over the next three years… “Protecting the world’s forests is not a luxury – it is a necessity,” said Secretary Vilsack. “This substantial commitment,” he said, “is reflective of our recognition that international public finance must play a role in developing countries’ efforts to slow, halt and reverse deforestation.” The U.S. contribution to this effort will be one billion dollars over the next three years. These funds will be available for countries that develop ambitious REDD-plus plans for their forest sector, according to their respective capabilities.

Stop oil palm move, say experts

Ecosystems Climate Alliance, press release, 25 February 2010 | ECA calls on environmental ministers to oppose moves by Indonesia and the EU to define oil palm plantations as forests… “Europe has proven itself a serial offender in resisting differentiation of natural forests from plantations for climate funding,” said Patrick Alley of Global Witness. “Now it is clearly in the thick of a push to define palm oil as a sustainable biofuel despite the huge adverse environmental impacts of its production. EU member nations should insist that this unacceptable assistance to the palm oil industry be dropped.”

New Zealand leads on forest carbon

By Ian Hamilton, Carbon Positive, 25 February 2010 | While cap-and-trade legislation stalls in the US and Australia, Copenhagen’s limited progress holds back REDD, and the inflexibilities of the Kyoto Protocol’s CDM keeps a lid on reforestation activity, New Zealand is in many ways leading the world in the use of forestry for compliance-based carbon markets. Forestry and land-use projects have largely been led by the voluntary carbon market internationally. But now a Kyoto-linked market for forest carbon offsets under New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme (NZ-ETS) is off and running, albeit at a modest pace so far.

26 February 2010

Speech: Zambia gears up to combat climate change by saving forest lands

UNDP Zambia, 26 February 2010 | With the support of UNDP, FAO and UNEP, the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources of the Government of the Republic of Zambia, along with tremendous support from other contributing partners have produced a national programme document for the new programme UN-REDD that will prepare Zambia to combat climate change through financial initiatives to protect forest areas… A final draft of the national programme document has been developed and was discussed by stakeholders today in Lusaka. Zambia aims to present their document to the UN-REDD Policy Board in Nairobi in mid-March 2010. With the Policy Board approval and national approval processes completed, the implementation of the UN-REDD programme is expected to commence in the latter half of 2010.

Tanzania describes climate change as greatest global challenge

Xinhua, 26 February 2010 | REDD in Tanzania is in the process of a national strategy as one of the requirement for REDD readiness, which involves stakeholders, and other Mechanism such as district consultations, local governments, forestry officials and civil service organizations. Both Tanzanian Union government and Zanzibar government intend to maintain pilot projects through Non-governemnt Organizations ( NGOs) in studies by research institutions and provide local experiences for inclusion in the project.

Human Rights Watch Letter To President Obama Ahead Of Indonesia Trip

Eurasia Review, 26 February 2010 | However, we remain deeply concerned that if Indonesia fails to implement reforms, any influx of US funds from carbon trading and REDD “readiness” programs would further entrench the widespread corruption and weak governance that have plagued Indonesia’s attempts at reforms in forestry, finance, and law enforcement for the past decade. In turn, this corruption weakens the protection and enjoyment of human rights in Indonesia.

27 February 2010

$125b budget Appropriations Bill passed

By Alva Solomon, Stabroek News, 27 February 2010 | The Finance Minister was questioned on provisions made in the budget of some $6.1B for intended Low Carbon Development (LCD) programmes. According to the project profile, the allocated sum is intended to cover several projects under the LCD programme, including the construction of access roads to Amaila Falls and related infrastructural work under phase 1 of the hydropower project. Murray questioned whether the projects will be undertaken under the Guyana/Norway forest protection pact to which the Finance Minister answered briefly, “not necessarily”.

Money to Be Biggest Issue At Mexico Climate Summit

Jakarta Globe, 27 February 2010 | Minister for the Environment Gusti Muhammad Hatta said in Bali on Friday that there was little chance of reaching a legally binding agreement during the Mexico talks. “[The conference] won’t be setting up a high target for a legally binding [result] because it’s going to be a difficult one to achieve, but we will want to make sure the talks go down effectively with specific issues, such REDD [Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plan] and even financial issues,” he said.

28 February 2010

Do fence me in: 250-mile barrier helps protect Kenyan water sources

By John Vidal, The Guardian, 28 February 2010 | After just over two decades, 250 miles (402km) and $9m (£5.9m) later, the last post on one of the longest fences ever built in Africa has been hammered in. The electrified barrier, which rings the Aberdare mountain range, in west central Kenya, was initially intended to keep people out in order to save the few endangered black rhino within, but has become a model for countries struggling to protect scarce water resources. Kenya’s wildlife service is now studying whether to put electric fences around Mount Kenya, the Mau forest, Mount Elgon and the Cherangani Hills, most of which have been invaded by thousands of poor people who threaten the country’s water supplies, Julius Kipng’etich, the director of the wildlife service, said… Local people are allowed through it to collect wood and water.

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